Les Feuilles Mortes – digital copies available now!

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a mad flurry of activity as I’ve worked on getting my new book Les Feuilles Mortes together and ready for you to have in your hands. The physical copy should be ready soon to buy from Lulu.com – by the end of May – but you can now buy a digital copy of the book for just $10 AUD via The Consolations of Writing. All your money will go to Tear Australia’s work supporting developing countries to combat COVID-19.

Click here to get your copy, and watch a teaser for the book here. I’m also looking forward to the online book launch, on a date soon to be confirmed. I hope you can join me. It’s been a real community event getting together friends from across the world involved in this project, and I’m excited to share it with you all soon.

Other Ways to Practise Resurrection, Or, How to Beat a Pandemic: After Wendell Berry

When others horde, share.
When others sneeze, do not be startled.
When the numbers rise, take heart.
For your life is more than your days on earth
and your planet is more than a virus.

When the shops are packed with people and
the shelves are emptied of products, do not
push and shove and hate the man
who found the tissues that you missed.
For your life is more than tissues.

When cupboards are jammed with tins and cans
and only wholemeal pasta’s left,
rejoice that you’re forced to eat healthier stuff,
and go plant some veggies so that when they yield
you can take some to your elderly neighbours.

Buy bulbs to plant in autumn soil
so that, when this is over, you can see spring arise.
Watch the news, but do not fret.
Pray more than you scroll through Twitter feeds.
Share your toilet paper.

Coronavirus, with OCD

Wash your hands; don’t touch your face.

Did I wash my hands, and did

I touch my face after? Before?

Don’t be afraid but be aware.

Wash your hands; don’t touch your face.

These sightless microbes swim in air.

Your nose is dripping. Touch your face.

Wash your hands. Don’t be afraid.

It all may come to nothing; don’t

Touch your face. Now wash your hands.

Advent 9: No despair

...we are almost ready to fall in love with our own desolation.
(Christina Rossetti, Seek and Find)

Whether height of summer or bleak midwinter, there’s death:
in bare-branched trees or brittle grass.
Fire or frost, the end’s the same,
both killers and destroyers alike.
And the greatest foe of all’s despair,
the sickness blighting not only this
but every future season’s crop.
There’s a sickness that can end in life,
that kills illusions, opens eyes.
Wisest farmers wait their time
and learn the seasons’ darkest signs.
Wiser still the one who turns
despair of here to hope beyond.

Advent 4: Airport Christmas

We always move around and so
fittingly our Christmas is mobile,
each returning to their homes, like Joseph
and a heavily expectant Mary, carrying
the hope of the world in her womb.

We depart carrying gifts in shopping bags
or catch up on forgotten things at airport stores.
And when we arrive: reunion, but
no birth, Messiah forgotten where we left Him
and hope still swirling at the baggage carousels.